Perry County is located in the central region of Pennsylvania. The county has over 45,000 residents within its townships and boroughs. Any legal matters within the county are resolved by the Perry County Court of Common Pleas located in New Bloomfield. The court is responsible for resolving any legal disputes within the county, and also maintaining criminal and arrest records within the county. When a person wishes to clear their name, they must petition this court for an expungement.
Expungement in Perry County
In order to expunge a record in Perry County, a person must determine whether or not their case meets the state's overall requirements for expungement. Pennsylvania will only grant expungement under certain circumstances. These include:
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Perry County Court, or withdrawn by the Perry County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; depending on the circumstances of the case, charges that were dismissed or withdrawn may be instead eligible for a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
- A person was able to complete an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in lieu of suffering a criminal conviction.
- A person is over the age of 70, and they have not faced any criminal matters for at least ten (10) years
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has completed their sentence, and has allowed at least five (5) years to pass without any additional criminal matter.
Sealing Records in Perry County
For more serious criminal records in the county, a person may make use of a separate process to clear such records. This process is known as record sealing and operates on the use of Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. When a motion is filed and granted, the courts will prevent access to a person's records during a background check. Under these laws, a person's misdemeanor records may be sealed. Only 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor charges may be sealed through this process. Although certain misdemeanor convictions are specifically precluded by statute, most misdemeanor convictions will be eligible for record sealing if the person seeking relief otherwise meets Pennsylvania's eligibility requirements. In addition, a person must not have faced additional criminal charges for at least ten (10) years.
Juvenile Expungement in Perry County
For individuals that are under the age of 18, any criminal or arrests records they accrue will be classified as juvenile records. Many believe that these records are merely temporary, and do not take them as seriously as they would adult records. Unfortunately, juvenile records do not simply disappear and should be expunged just as adult records should be whenever possible. Thankfully, Pennsylvania allows for less strict circumstances for juvenile expungement than they do for standard expungements. These include:
- A person was convicted on a juvenile offense, served their sentence, and has not faced criminal charges for at least five (5) years.
- A person was placed under court supervision, completed the supervision, and has not faced criminal charges for at least six (6) months.
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges but later had the charges dismissed.
- A person is over the age of 18, petitions the court for an immediate expungement, and the court approves.
Clearing Your Record in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in New Bloomfield
When expunging a criminal record in Perry County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Perry County, the Perry County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Perry County Court of Common Pleas is located at 2 E. Main Street, New Bloomfield, PA 17068.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Perry County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Perry County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Perry County District Attorney's Office is located in the Perry County Court House; the address, as above, is 2 E. Main Street, New Bloomfield, PA 17068.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Perry County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Perry County District Attorney's Office does not object to the expungement petition or limited access petition pursuant to Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The specific Pennsylvania expungement or limited access law which will apply to the request for relief filed in New Bloomfield, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Perry County criminal case itself: either Pa.R.Crim.P. 490 for summary offense expungements; Pa.R.Crim.P. 790 for standard criminal record expungements; Pa.R.Crim.P. 791 and 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122.1 in cases involving criminal record sealing; or 18 Pa.C.S. § 9123 in cases involving juvenile records. In some instances, requesting relief based upon a combination of these Rules is sometimes required to clear a Pennsylvania criminal record in Perry County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Perry County Court will most often decide a request for an expungement or record sealing "on the pleadings," meaning that judgment will be made on a proper petition, order, and related pleadings, persons seeking to clear their record per Pennsylvania law must make sure that their request is properly handled in all respects, and to an exacting degree. In addition, the Perry County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading, unlike most Pennsylvania counties. Although the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office, it is good practice in Perry County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Perry County Expungement | Attorney for Perry County Record Sealing
Motions for sealing records or expungement are crucial for anyone seeking to avoid employment issues, to enter higher education, or to pursue or maintain a professional license. Prior criminal or arrest records can severely hinder a person's progress in their education or career paths. While a person may t times be able to file for these motions on their own, the court will seldom provide adequate direction on how to make these filings. Any errors in the filing can lead to unnecessary and frustrating delays; if not an outright denial of relief. For these reasons, it may be best to have these filings handled by an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney to reduce the likelihood of error and delays.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a proven record of success helping clients with clearing their records throughout Pennsylvania, and as importantly, he personally handles all clients' expungements and record sealings from start to finish. If you or a loved one is seeking an expungement or record sealing motion in New Bloomfield or Perry County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.